Akasia Country Club crowned Northern Provinces Champion


From left to right: Jacques van Tonder, Zak Kleynhans, Rohan de Beer, Mellette Hendrikse (Captain), Ettienne Janse van Rensburg, Fourie Zietsman, Chris Froneman, Robert Gouws, Hilliard du Plessis (Manager), Marthin Scheepers, Neill Malherbe (Akasia CC Chairman)

How do you know that you are the best in the business? You win all the matches you play, in order to win the league in your province and then… beat everybody at the Northern Provinces finals.

Akasia Country Club represented the Gauteng North Golf Union, whilst Randpark Golf Club, Ebotse Links, Walker Park Golf Club and Potchefstroom Country Club each represented the other unions that make up the Northern Provinces. Limpopo did not field a team this year.

This event has a huge heritage and the trophy has been contested since shortly after the Second World War. The format is 8 member teams playing match play from scratch. Due to the number of teams the event is usually scheduled over 72 holes contested in two days. Because of the withdrawal of Limpopo the host union Ekurhuleni scheduled the matches over 54 holes. Thirty six holes contested on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday morning.

Akasia drew Potchefstroom (defending champions) in the first round. The 07h00 start time saw frozen greens and frost on the fairways. This did not deter the players from producing exceptional shot-making. Akasia beat a very strong Potch side 5.5 to 2.5.

Unfortunately there is very little time to celebrate or reflect as the next opponent Walker Park was waiting in the wings. An unknown quantity as Walker Park Golf Club made its debut to the finals. Bad light had an effect on at least two matches, but Akasia had done enough to win the match 6.5 to 1.5. in the words of Ettienne Janse van Rensburg: “a walk in the park.”

Akasia started the final day in third place behind Randpark and Ebotse, tied on points, but behind on game count. The day started with some cloud cover which kept the frost at bay, but resulted in a prolonged cold spell. Randpark had displayed an eagerness to win the title with some great golf and a great approach to all their matches. Ebotse, hosting the event, having home course advantage and sporting home grown talent also had aspirations to win the title. Akasia had however won the title twice from three attempts. It was going to be a titanic battle of will.

After six holes Akasia was behind against both opponents. After 12 holes Akasia had drawn level with Ebotse and one game behind Randpark. When all was said and done Akasia beat Ebotse 5.5 to 2.5 and Randpark 5 to 3. A brilliant comeback from a great bunch of guys.

A special thank you to Pierre Rynners from Ryncor Actioneers for your sponsorship towards the team. Thank you to the Gauteng North Golf Union for supporting the team and the leagues. Thank you to the Akasia Country Club members for your support.

Hilliard du Plessis for all your hard work, planning and care. (And being the glue)

Steyn Zietsman for the work you do behind the scenes and for being there.

Neill Malherbe for your dedication to the club.

And for Robert Gouws for playing alone… close to the back…